Demand for primary care services is projected to increase through 2020, largely because of aging and population growth and, to a much lesser extent, from expanded insurance coverage as the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented. According to HRSA, while the number of primary care physicians in the U.S. is expected to increase 8% from 2010 to 2020, demand will increase by 14%. Without changes to how primary care is delivered, the growth in primary care physician supply will not be adequate to meet demand and the lack of care in medically underserved areas will only worsen.
According to County Health Rankings data, Hudson County ranks last in NJ when it comes to clinical care, with a primary care physician (PCP) to population ratio of 1870 to 1. Studies show, failure to make regular visits to PCPs leads to higher instances & severity of chronic illnesses. This increases visits to emergency departments by traditionally underserved minority & low-income residents, increasing the cost of health care for all. It is not surprise, then, that the top 5 causes of death in Jersey City, according to a 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), are cancer, heart disease, stroke, unintentional injuries and diabetes. This same Assessment found that a perceived lack of transportation option often
The ratio of Mental Health Providers (MHPs) in Hudson County is 1890 to 1, worst in the state. Lack of mental health services & poor integration of mental health services within primary care can lead to tragic consequences, including suicide, substance abuse, inability to live independently, involvement with the correctional system, lack of vocational success, & health problems.
Nationwide, there is an upward trend in suicide. The suicide rate in New Jersey increased almost 26% from 1999 to 2014, going from 6.6 suicides per 100,000 in ‘99 to 8.3 per 100,000 in ‘14. Hudson County’s suicide rates increased from 5.7 to 5.9.
Through the creation of an easy-to-use website, mobile app and active engagement of community partners, the Partnership for a Healthier JC will increase awareness of resources, increase use of primary care physicians and improve integration of mental health services within primary care for residents of Jersey City.
The 2013 CHNA
Action Steps & Success Indicators by 2019
ACTION STEP 1
Residents will have access to information about local events and resources available to them in a wide array of areas that affect health. Provide Suicide Prevention & Intervention Training to Providers
PHJC will create search driven and date-driven websites that informs residents of resources available to them in the areas of health, transit, food, housing, education, recreation and more.
ACTION STEP 2
All Jersey City residents will have access to primary care physicians, mental health providers, walk-in clinics and urgent care facilities through public transportation.
Using GIS technology, the Partnership for a Healthier JC website will feature an interactive map that provides public transportation options from any location in JC to health care and mental health providers.
ACTION STEP 3
All Jersey City residents will have access to a full array of medical and mental health providers and specialists.
Through federal, state, and city incentives, there will be a 5% increase in the number of clinical and mental health providers in Jersey City and a 5% decrease in instances of deaths due to chronic illnesses.
ACTION STEP 4
New Jersey City University will create a new Mental Health Counseling Center that will serve as a regional hub for mental health services and educational offerings related to integration within primary care.
NJCU’s Mental Health Counseling Center will open to the public.